Most kids plug into the world of television long before they enter school. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF):
- two-thirds of infants and toddlers watch a screen an average of 2 hours a day
- kids under age 6 watch an average of about 2 hours of screen media a day, primarily TV and videos or DVDs
- kids and teens 8 to 18 years spend nearly 4 hours a day in front of a TV screen and almost 2 additional hours on the computer (outside of schoolwork) and playing video games
But despite its advantages, too much television can be detrimental:
- Children who consistently spend more than 4 hours per day watching TV are more likely to be overweight.
- Kids who view violent acts are more likely to show aggressive behavior but also fear that the world is scary and that something bad will happen to them.
- TV characters often depict risky behaviors, such as smoking and drinking, and also reinforce gender-role and racial stereotypes.
…some say it’s better for parents to control the use of TV and to teach kids that it’s for occasional entertainment, not for constant escapism.
That’s why it’s so important for you to monitor the content of TV programming and set viewing limits to ensure that your kids don’t spend too much time parked in front of the TV.
4 Detrimental Categories:
More about Obesity:
Health experts have long linked excessive TV-watching to obesity — a significant health problem today. While watching TV, kids are inactive and tend to snack. They’re also bombarded with ads that encourage them to eat unhealthy foods like potato chips and empty-calorie soft drinks that often become preferred snack foods.
Studies have shown that decreasing the amount of TV kids watched led to less weight gain and lower body mass index (BMI — a measurement derived from someone’s weight and height).